There was further exciting news on Commonwealth Day (14 March 2016), when it was announced that the BBC has been awarded the UK broadcast rights for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. It will be the 17th consecutive Commonwealth Games to be covered by the UK’s public broadcaster as the BBC continues to develop its long established relationship at the heart of Commonwealth sport.
The live sporting action will take place nine hours ahead of the UK, with the BBC promising no less than 180 hours of comprehensive through the night coverage, supported by daytime replay and peak time evening highlights across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Sport website, iPlayer and national and local radio.
UK sports fans, who enjoyed 170 hours of innovative and immersive network coverage for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games with a cumulative broadcast reach of 35m UK viewers, now have the opportunity to continue to support their home nations athletes across 18 sports – including the newly-added discipline of Beach Volleyball – at the next edition of the Commonwealth Games, taking place from 4 to 15 April 2018 on Australia’s Gold Coast.
David Grevemberg CBE, Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive, said: “The BBC has a proud and prolific Commonwealth sporting history, and following their inclusive, innovative and extensive free-to-air coverage from Glasgow 2014, I have no doubt that UK sports fans will be transported ‘down under’ for an inspiring and memorable Games experience in two years’ time.”
Barbara Slater, BBC’s Director of Sport, said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our relationship with the Commonwealth Games, an event we have covered for over sixty years. The Games never fail to deliver those moments that unite the nation and we’re delighted that we’ll be there to bring all of the action – free to air – to audiences across all of our platforms.”
Welcoming the news from a Scottish perspective, Paul Bush OBE, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland added: “The BBC has always done an incredible job of supporting the Commonwealth Games and the home nation teams, not only with national network coverage, but particularly by the nations and regions.
“Independent research shows that Team Scotland has the highest positive support of any Scottish national team by the Scottish public. We therefore look forward to working closely with BBC Sport and BBC Scotland, to ensure we can fully share our journey to the Gold Coast and inspire future generations of young people to get involved in sport.”
This latest agreement joins the existing broadcast deals across Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the United States for Gold Coast 2018, Australia’s first Commonwealth Games since the hugely successful 2006 Games in Melbourne.